OACAS applauds annual, ongoing funding for critical One Vision One Voice program for Black children and youth in care

On July 20, 2021 the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services announced additional, ongoing supports for the One Vision One Voice (OVOV) program to support improved outcomes and equitable services for Black and African Canadian children, youth, and families in Ontario’s child welfare system. Starting this year, the One Vision One Voice program will receive $800,000 in annual funding. The announcement was made by Associate Minister Jane McKenna and MPP Donna Skelly (Flamborough—Glanbrook) at Hamilton Children’s Aid Society.

OVOV is a community-led initiative with a focus on anti-Black racism and supporting the delivery of culturally appropriate services to address the disproportionate representation of African Canadian and Black children and youth in the child welfare system.

OACAS CEO Nicole Bonnie attended the announcement and provided remarks on behalf of the program and the child welfare sector. She applauded the government for their support and highlighted the need for ongoing and consistent collective efforts by the child welfare sector and intersecting systems to address White Supremacy and systemic anti-Black racism to ultimately improve outcomes for Black children, youth, and families.

“We commend the government for recognizing the damaging impact of the overrepresentation of African Canadians in the child welfare system,” said Ms. Bonnie. “This funding will help support the dismantling of anti-Black racism as it requires consistent, urgent and focused attention. The One Vision One Voice practice frameworks will provide societies with the tools to embed culturally relevant supports to help examine systemic issues related to anti-Black racism, policies and practices that create disparate outcomes for Black families.”

In a news release from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, Associate Minister Jane McKenna said: “One Vision, One Voice gives African Canadian and Black children and youth in care a much stronger voice. Ensuring Black families have access to culturally appropriate supports when they are needed is essential as we redesign child welfare in Ontario and work to build a better, more inclusive system.”

The livestream is available here and the government press release can be read here.